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Corona crisis: The sovereign-bank nexus is tightening

July 1, 2020
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Analyst:
Governments in many countries are facing growing funding needs as they implement large fiscal stimulus packages to counter the severe economic downturn caused by the corona pandemic. Besides central banks, banks are financing more than half of the rising expenditures, which is affecting the composition of their balance sheets. [more]

More documents about "Europe"

193 Documents
July 12, 2021
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Analyst:
1
The introduction of a digital euro is drawing closer: as a digital version of cash it is primarily intended to be a means of payment rather than an instrument for investment. The ECB wants to strengthen Europe’s sovereignty in the world of payments as well as the euro’s competitive position vis-à-vis other currencies. However, this will only be achieved if the digital euro is used widely, which is not very likely. A limit is expected on how much users can hold, to prevent a massive outflow of bank deposits into digital central bank money. In this case, lending decisions and money creation would eventually shift to the ECB. Europe would face the question which type of monetary and financial system it wants. [more]
May 28, 2021
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2
The recovery was quick and resounding. The banking sector in Europe has shaken off the impact of the pandemic and in many ways it looks like nothing happened in the past two years at all. In Q1 2021, profitability, costs, efficiency levels, several capital and liquidity indicators were all similar to Q1 2019. Nevertheless, the crisis has left its imprint: balance sheets are far larger, revenues and loan loss provisions are substantially higher, as is the CET1 ratio. Hence, there is still room for further normalisation. [more]
March 25, 2021
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3
2020 was an extraordinary year for banks, as for most other industries. In Europe, banks barely made money, as revenues fell substantially and loan loss provisions doubled. Expense cuts cushioned the blow only partly. Capital and liquidity ratios reached record highs though, thanks to disciplined risk management and funding support from central banks. Once again, European banks underperformed their US peers. But how do their results compare in the longer term, ten years after the end of the financial crisis, and also vis-à-vis smaller competitors? [more]
March 22, 2021
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Analyst:
4
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge in public debt and highlights the need to tackle sovereign risk on bank balance sheets, which remains a threat to the stability of the Banking Union. Euro-area banks hold bonds and have granted loans to their domestic sovereigns worth a combined EUR 2.1 tr, equalling 6.2% of total assets. Among the largest countries, banks in Italy have the highest exposure relative to capital (194%), followed by Spain (105%), whereas it is much lower in Germany (67%) and France (60%). Sovereign risk must be mitigated to finalise the Banking Union but this will require some honest acknowledgements by supervisors and entail restrictions for banks and politicians. [more]
February 5, 2021
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5
2020 ended on a conciliatory note for European banks. Following a heavy hit in H1, H2 saw a dynamic recovery in the economy and financial markets, which helped slow down the rise in loan loss provisions and buoyed trading income. Corporate loan growth stabilised but remained elevated and retail lending shrug off the crisis, while banks’ liquidity reserves at the ECB surged to unprecedented and unsustainable levels. Government bond holdings initially rose strongly before calming down a bit. Capital and liquidity ratios weathered the crisis well, without even needing support from supervisors which relaxed a number of rules, at the risk of undermining confidence and transparency though. The outlook for 2021 is more benign with bank profitability set to rebound significantly thanks to much lower loss provisions. [more]
November 11, 2020
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6
The European Green Deal labels the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 as a growth strategy where no one is left behind. This is akin to squaring the circle. In the next few years, we will see whether we, as a society, are ready for an honest democratic discussion about climate neutrality. We will have to deal with inconvenient questions and inconvenient truths. But if this discussion does not take place, climate neutrality will remain a just topic for fine speeches and promises – and nothing will be said, much less done, that could hurt anybody. [more]
August 31, 2020
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7
In its industrial policy strategy, the European Commission has merged the goal of reinforcing Europe’s industrial sovereignty and global competitiveness with its overarching objective: the twin transition to a green and digital economy. Close cooperation between the industry, governments and academia is necessary to meet these ambitions and open questions regarding the realisation and compatibility of the policy objectives need to be addressed along the way. During the pandemic, the role of the state in the EU economies has strengthened substantially. Hot political debates about normalising the market mechanism and reinstating state aid rules can be expected over the next years. Risks are that even post-COVID, there might be calls for continued exemptions to the European state aid and competition rules. This could lead to lasting distortions of the single market. [more]
August 27, 2020
Region:
8
Large banks in Europe have taken a substantial hit from the recession induced by the coronavirus. Their revenues dropped 5% yoy in the first half of the year and loan loss provisions spiked, essentially wiping out profits. Nevertheless, the CET1 ratio increased to 14% and the leverage ratio dipped only slightly to 4.8%. Total assets surged, driven by a massive increase in liquidity reserves at central banks, a boom in corporate lending and substantial government bond purchases. By comparison, the major US banks have weathered the crisis somewhat better so far. They remained moderately profitable, despite setting aside more funds to cover future loan losses. Their revenues grew 2% yoy, a stronger headwind from the Fed’s interest rate cuts notwithstanding. Capital ratios, however, appear less resilient than in Europe. [more]
August 5, 2020
Region:
9
The EUR 750 bn recovery package agreed upon by EU leaders two weeks ago will be financed through EU borrowing while the EUR 1,074 bn budget for the next seven years mainly depends on EU members' direct contributions. For the Commission to tap markets, the own resources ceiling – i.e. the maximum amount that can be called per year to finance EU expenditure – will be temporarily increased from the current 1.2% to 2% of EU members’ GNI. The Council committed itself to reform the EU’s financing system and plans to introduce new own resources for early repayment of EU borrowing. The top priority at present is swift adoption of the budget and recovery fund to address the consequences of the pandemic over the coming years. Following agreement in the Council, the MFF 2021-2027 now requires the consent of the European Parliament, in an absolute-majority vote. The decision about own resources – EU borrowing, increased ceiling and new own resources – needs to be approved by all member states in accordance with their constitutional requirements (including approval by national parliaments). While we do not expect an overall blockage of the package by the European Parliament or member states, delays cannot be excluded. [more]
July 21, 2020
Region:
10
EU leaders finally reached what looked impossible at times: agreement on a EUR 1.074 trillion next seven-year EU budget as well as a EUR 750 bn European recovery fund, consisting of EUR 390 bn in grants and EUR 360 bn in loans. In order to engineer consensus, Council President Michel repeatedly adjusted (downsized) his original proposal to meet the demands of frugal members. The EUR 390 bn grants facility agreed is a significant cut compared to the EUR 500 bn called for by France and Germany, but the share of grants in the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) was slightly increased to EUR 312.5 bn The Council meeting that lasted from Friday to Tuesday was the first in-person conference between EU leaders since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic and took place under heightened health precautions. In the end, leaders of 27 EU members managed to find a joint response to the unprecedented economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. [more]
July 10, 2020
Region:
11
The coronavirus recession results in large-scale balance sheet changes both at euro-area and US banks. At the peak of the slump, lending to companies and corporate deposits surged further, while lending to households was much less affected. Banks also strongly increased their funding from and liquidity buffers at central banks. Within the euro area, funding from the ECB rose particularly in Germany and France, but remains much more important in Italy and Spain. Purchases of government bonds by US banks were smaller and started later than in the EMU. Over the next couple of months, corporate loans and deposits may gradually come down both in the US and Europe. Banks’ liquidity reserves at central banks are set to decrease, while their government bond holdings are expected to rise considerably. [more]
May 28, 2020
Region:
12
Commission President von der Leyen presented the long anticipated Commission proposal for a EUR 750 bn European Recovery Instrument together with an upsized EU budget for the next seven years. The plan goes beyond the Franco-German proposal that surprised markets last week. It can be expected to cause heated debates in the European Council and meet fierce resistance from frugal EU members. [more]
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